2 Pennsylvania Public Markets Named Best In Nation
Public markets provide an opportunity for social interaction and community bonding. As people gather to explore the stalls and make their purchases, they engage in friendly banter with vendors, fellow shoppers, and even strangers. It fosters a sense of belonging, turning a routine shopping trip into a social event. Additionally, the appeal of public markets lies in their support for local economies and sustainable practices. By purchasing directly from local vendors, consumers contribute to the growth of small businesses.
Recently, USA 10Best compiled a list of the best public markets in the U.S. They had a group of experts put forward the nominees, and then their editors narrowed it down to the final ones. From there, readers got to have their say and vote on the ultimate winners.
Two Pennsylvania public markets make it into the Top 10
Pennsylvania hit a double whammy, with two of its public markets ranking in the nation’s top 10. At number 8 is Lancaster Central Market, proudly recognized as the oldest continuously operating indoor market in the country since its establishment back in 1730. With over 65 local vendors, this market opens its doors three days a week, offering fresh ingredients for home-cooking or delicious bites.
Topping the list at number one is the historic Reading Terminal Market. The website highlighted some of the fun finds at the public market. Not just cheesesteaks but also sushi, crepes, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels, and a whole bunch of butchers, bakers, and local produce makers. And Bassetts Ice Cream, the market’s first tenant, is still going strong after a whopping 130 years.
February 22, 1893, when the market first opened its doors, the stalls were set up in a neat grid pattern, with aisles running east-west and wider avenues running north-south. They even laid sawdust on the floor to soak up spills and keep things tidy. Fast forward to 1913, and the market was booming, with 250 food dealers and 100 farmers making their mark.
Nowadays, the Reading Terminal Market is hailed as one of the finest public markets in the whole U.S. It’s a local hotspot and a top tourist destination in Philadelphia, right after the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It includes over 80 merchants offering everything from fresh produce, meats, and fish to flowers, baked goods, crafts, books, and clothes, as well as a bunch of hard-to-find specialties and ethnic foods.
Check out the rest of the public markets that made it to the list in the U.S. here.